Vice President Mike Pence has spent three of the past five days appearing at conferences and on stage with anti-LGBTQ extremists, including one who calls gay people “terrorists” and compares them to ISIS, and a group that appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-gay hate groups. Some are starting to notice and call him out for it.
“Less than a week after appearing at an Erick Erickson sponsored conference, and a day after appearing with anti-LGBTQ extremist Sam Brownback, Mike Pence continues his anti-LGBTQ crusade with an appearance at an event organized by the anti-LGBTQ hate group the Alliance Defending Freedom,” the Human Rights Campaign says in an email to NCRM. HRC points to the Vice President’s “close ties” to ADF, a group that HRC says “is among the most horrific of any group operating in the United States.”
The Vice President late Tuesday morning addressed the ADF, a group that successfully represented an anti-gay Christian baker at the U.S. Supreme Court and works to deprive LGBTQ people of their civil rights, while offering false narratives. Pence, speaking at the Ritz-Carlton in Arlington, Virginia, bragged that he and the Trump administration have “taken action to protect the conscience rights of doctors and nurses and healthcare providers,” and “gone to court to protect the right to religious expression in the public square,” while praising the ADF for being “there every step of the way.”
— Sean Nelson (@Sean_ADFIntl) August 6, 2019
The Trump administration claims it is working to decriminalize homosexuality around the world (there do not appear to be any public reports on its progress) and yet the Vice President is bragging about his work with the ADF, a group that, according to HRC, “believes in the re-criminalization of homosexuality in the U.S. and across the globe.”
ADF also “has advocated for the sterilization of trans people,” and its “extremist views have found their way into Trump administration and state legislative actions.”
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Utah’s Top GOP Lawmaker Tested Positive for COVID Twice Just Hours Before ‘Conducting Business as Normal’ – With No Mask
Utah’s hydroxychloroquine-pushing right wing Republican Senate President opened the chamber’s 2022 session Tuesday by announcing he had just tested positive for COVID – twice. He then “joked,” saying he was actually negative.
But in fact Senator J. Stuart Adams had indeed tested positive for COVID, twice, just hours before heading off to work and “conducting business as normal,” The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Sen. Adams had been symptomatic last Wednesday and tested positive the following day.
Senate deputy chief of staff Aundrea Peterson falsely “said the senator has followed the CDC guidelines, has not had a fever since Saturday, and his symptoms had subsided.”
CDC guidelines make clear anyone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19 should isolate for five days or, if symptoms are declining, they must wear a mask around others.
“Adams was maskless when he opened the session Tuesday, including when he greeted Elder Gerrit W. Gong, one of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who offered an opening prayer,” the Tribune notes. “Adams wore a mask when he met with news media later in the day but was unmasked again when the Senate resumed business in the afternoon.”
Mother Jones reported that in April of 2020 Utah’s “legislature met in special session and set aside $6 million for the state to purchase and stockpile medications. Turns out a suburban pharmacist with connections to Senate President Stuart Adams had stockpiled hundreds of thousands of doses of hydroxychloroquine and zinc, the scientifically questionable treatment championed by President Trump.”
As it turns out, “the state had already purchased $800,000 worth of the drug from this pharmacy, Meds in Motion, at vastly inflated prices.”
Laster on Tuesday, the Senate voted to void local mask mandates.
Virginia School Districts Furious After Youngkin Flip Flops on Promise to Allow Local Boards to Decide Mask Mandates
For months Virginia’s incoming Republican governor has been promising he would neither mandate masks in schools nor ban school districts from requiring them.
“Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin (R) will not outlaw local COVID-19 mandates when he takes office in January,” reported the far right wing website Daily Wire back in November.
Local ABC affiliate 8 News, also in November reported, “Youngkin won’t try to block local mask, vaccine mandates like other Republican governors.”
Glenn Youngkin was sworn into office on Saturday, January 15, 2022.
Business Insider reports that on Saturday, after Youngkin was sworn into office, he “signed an executive action that banned schools from requiring that students wear masks to stem the spread of COVID-19, instead allowing parents to decide when their children wear masks during the school day.”
Youngkin’s first act as governor was to sign eleven executive orders. Among them: effectively banning any mask mandates in schools across the state, by allowing parents to opt-out for any reason or no reason.
In other words: flip-flopping on his promise.
Youngkin is using his Lt. Governor to threaten angry school districts. Fox News’ John Roberts:
Virginia Lt. Gov. @WinsomeSears says @GlennYoungkin may withold state education money from school districts that defy his Executive Order making masking optional. So far, Fairfax, Arlington and Richmond have said their mask mandates will stay in place.
— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) January 17, 2022
Pundit and political analyst Bill Scher:
For all people saying Youngkin is just doing what he said he would do by banning local school mask mandates … nope!
— Bill Scher (@billscher) January 17, 2022
Youngkin made a big deal over the weekend claiming schools have to “listen to parents” and if they oppose his mask ban they aren’t listening to parents.
Exclusive: Governor Youngkin on Arlington school system saying it will require masks, despite Youngkin’s order stating that schools can’t do that. He threatened to use state resources to force schools to comply – but we still don’t know what that means exactly. @WTOP https://t.co/5Lijz9kbgd pic.twitter.com/SnC4dcCIar
— Nick Iannelli (@NickWTOP) January 16, 2022
Gov. Youngkin is the one not listening.
Top Democrats Renew Call to End Anti-Gay Blood Ban as Red Cross Announces First-Ever National Shortage Crisis
Last week the Red Cross issued its first-ever warning of a blood shortage so dire it is calling it a “national crisis.” In response 22 top Democratic Senators signed a letter urging the FDA to once and for all end the ban on men who have sex with men donating blood.
The nearly four-decade old ban was instituted during the early days of the HIV/AIDS crisis. In 2015 the FDA reduced the complete and total ban to one where gay and bisexual men and men who have sex with men could donate blood if they had abstained from sexual activity for one year. In 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic raged, threatening blood shortages, the FDA moved to a three-month prohibition.
“If the nation’s blood supply does not stabilize soon, life-saving blood may not be available for some patients when it is needed,” warns the Red Cross, citing a 34 percent drop in supply, CBS News reports.
“Any policy that continues to categorically single out the LGBTQ+ community is discriminatory and wrong,” the group of 22 top Democrats, led by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), say in their letter. “Given advances in blood screening and safety technology, a time-based policy for gay and bisexual men is not scientifically sound, continues to effectively exclude an entire group of people, and does not meet the urgent demands of the moment.”
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